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Friday, October 16, 2009

Hopeline

Most of us know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. But did you know that it is also Domestic Violence Awareness month? Eric is on the Board of Directors for the Albemarle Hopeline, a non-profit organization here in Elizabeth city that provides services such as an emergency shelter, a 24-hour crisis telephone line, and courtroom advocacy to victims of family violence, sexual assault, and teen dating violence.

Last night the Hopeline held their annual candlelight vigil commemorating the lives lost due to domestic violence so far this year in North Carolina. The vigil also celebrated domestic violence survivors who have begun anew. Jake and I were unable to attend since Jake is sick, but Eric and Megan did have a chance to go. The local newspaper covered the event, which had a turnout of over 100 people, and a photographer snapped a picture of Megan.

http://www.dailyadvance.com/photos-and-video/week-in-photos/week-in-photos-oct-9-oct-5-2009-92043.html

(the photo is copyrighted so I can't copy it here)

I'm sure that Megan did not understand the true gravity of the vigil, but she seems to have understood the sadness.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Megan's first day of school

Megan returned to preschool today....her third year at this school. She has the same teachers that Jake had a couple of years ago., and is so excited to be in the 4 year old class. Here's a picture of my big girl ready to go:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

1st day of school

I can't beleive Jake is now a first grader! We met his teacher, Mrs. Wittington (the school's Teacher of the Year for 2007-2008!), last night. Many of his friends from last year are in his class again this year and he was quite excited to go to school this morning. Shortly before getting on the bus he asked me "are we gonna do some kind of new math today or are we just gonna do the same stuff I did in Kindergarten?" Funny the things kids worry about...


gotta show off that new
Star Wars: Clone Wars lunch bag!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sometimes you just gotta improvise...

The beach house we rented in Emerald Isle had a great pool that the kids seemed to be in constantly. With Megan's near-white hair...the chlorine quickly turned her hair a lovely shade of green. One afternoon, I pulled her hair back into a ponytail and it seriously looked like someone had colored streaks of her hair with a green marker. Many washes with UltraSwim made it a tiny bit better, but still not great. Upon returning home, I asked a hair dresser friend and she recommended using Dawn dishwashing liquid. That also improved the hue a little bit, but did not eliminate it totally. So off to Google I went. I found a product - Malibu 2000 Crystal Gel Treatment - that got excellent reviews. So I ordered a couple of packets. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that the treatment required time under a heated dryer to be totally effective. Guess it would have been a smart idea to actually read the whole product description. Oh well. So last night - I improvised...Megan did not want her picture taken at first, but finally she acquiesced:

Yes...that is a chip clip holding a heating pad around her head. The good news is that it worked beautifully! Her hair is back to it's natural, white-blond color.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Finally....

After about 2 months of dealing with a very stubborn and quite horrible sinus infection, I finally got to see an ENT today. (His office was the most well-run medical practice I have ever been to...every single staff member, from the receptionist, to the nurse and to the billing secretary was efficient, organized, polite and friendly. Doesn't that make all the difference in the world? I think so.)

Dr. Keyes started by spraying some numbing medicine into my nose and then using an endoscope to check out the status of my sinuses. The camera on the end of the endoscope was connected to a TV and I got to see everything the Dr. was seeing. (I thought this was totally cool. Anyone who knows me should know that I love to watch the Discovery Health Channel!) As much as this guy was super nice and was obviously competent, it was a tad strange to hear him say "eeeewww....gross...you've got all kinds of junk in there". I asked him if "gross" was an official medical term, at which point he revised his statement to say "wow- you sure do have a severe sinus infection".

So, for the next month I get to take antibiotics, steroids, antihistamines, nasal sprays and decongestants. In mid-August, after ingesting approximately $1356 worth of pharmaceuticals, I will go back to see him in hopes that the sinuses are clear and no longer inflamed. At this point, he will better be able to determine if I will need surgery. I will also go through a battery of allergy tests.

Don'tcha wish you were me? (Didn't think so)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Dumbass

A few days ago, I was in my bathroom drying my hair when Jake comes running in, shouting "Megan called me a dumbass". Megan followed close behind and told me "I did NOT call him a dumbass. He called me a dumbass". Jake retorted "I did NOT call you a dumbass. Stop trying to get me in trouble". And last but not least, Megan responded "I did not say dumbass. Jake said dumbass".

My reaction: "The next person who says dumbass is getting their mouth washed out with soap!"

I can't imagine where they possibly could have heard that word.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Bizarro world

Every night before we go to bed (and by we, I actually mean Eric...but Eric is currently out of town) we get Jake up to go to the bathroom. So last night, I go into Jake's room to find him laying with his head at the wrong end of the bed, his foot on the bedside table and a tube of chapstick in his hand. What's up with that? I tell him I'm going to pick him up (easier said than done when dealing with 50 pounds of dead weight) and take him to the bathroom. I gently put him down in front of the toilet, tell him to go potty and step out into the hallway. I leave the door cracked as I always do to make sure he does what he is supposed to do. Jake stood there for a second then walked over to the sink and put his head down and tried to go back to sleep while standing up. So back in I go and steer him towards the toilet and tell him again to go potty. Instead, he turns around, closes the toilet and sits down, perching his elbows on his knees and resting his chin in his hands and closes his eyes. I give up at this point and just try to get him back to bed which is quite difficult since I am laughing hysterically. I get him back to bed, peek in on Megan and then walk down the hall to my room.

Five minutes later, I hear Megan sort of whimpering in her sleep which usually means she needs to go to the bathroom. Sure enough, I soon hear her walking across the hall to the bathroom. Normally, no matter what the hour, Megan announces "I'm goin' potty", but there was no such announcement. Instead of hearing the sound of the toilet opening, I hear the sound of the faucet going full blast. I walk into the bathroom just as she is pulling up on the stopper and dunking her stuffed horse into the pool of water. "My horsey needs a bath"" she tells me. I grab the horse, dry it off and ask Megan if she needs to go potty and she tells me she does, but she starts walking back into the hallway saying something about having to "get the thing and wash it". I redirect her to the bathroom where she finally goes potty and then returns to her room, climbs into bed and promptly begins snoring.

...at which point I look around for the hidden camera, head back to my room and hope that I will depart bizzaro world by morning.

Friday, May 22, 2009

If a wolf invited a baby chick over for dinner...

...a short story by Jake

One night a wolf sticked his hand in a nest to get a egg. He brings the egg to his house. He waited until the egg hatched so he could eat it for dinner. When he ate the chick he spit it out because it did not taste good but the chick was still alive. It just had a very bad brooz.

The End

The Spin Cycle: Pets

small cycle
My family has always had pets. My parents' first "child" was a mutt named Danny. I don't really remember him very well since he died when I was about 7. I do remember the day that he died, though. We were getting ready to go somewhere for some type of family fun and my dad had just found that Danny has just laid down and died. He was an old dog but that didn't mean that my dad wasn't upset. We were all waiting in the car and my dad walked over with a very solemn look on his face and told us girls that Danny had died. The words were barely out of his mouth when one of us - I truly don't remember which one of us sisters said it - asked excitedly "so does that mean we can get a cat now?" How nice of us to be so gentle and caring to my mourning father. We did get a cat - 2 actually - but I'm not sure how much time lapsed between Danny's death and the arrival of Patches and Willie (named after Willie Nelson) (we lived in Texas at the time and my dad wanted to name the cat something that would remind us of Texas once we moved along).

Willie was one homely cat. He was an orange tabby cat with really big ears, but boy did I love this cat. Willie was with us for about 8 years before he was diagnosed with Feline Leukemia and we had to put him down. I remember that trip to the vet quite well. Patches seemd to live forever. I think she was with us for about 15 years - through a couple moves halfway across the country, countless camping trips, and lots of mischeif.

I had a hampster once. I forgot to give it water and it died.

I had a crawfish - a souveneir from a middle school science class - and on the first night at my house, it somehow escaped the tiny little cage (which was actually a tupperware container with some holes poked in the cover) that was on top of my desk, crawled under the door, down the hall, down the stairs and into the kitchen. My mother discovered it in the middle of the kitchen floor the next morning. Following the instructions of my science teacher, she scooped it into a Ziploc bag and stuck it in the freezer. How weird is that? My science teacher actually gave us instructions on how to euthanize the thing. We disposed of it in the trash later. Maybe he defrosted and crawled away. Who knows?

Fast forward many years and I had Jesse, the best cat in the world, also an orange tabby (trying to replace my beloved Willie? I'll have to mention that to my therapist). He was mine and only mine. I got him at a pet store the day before I left college and he rode from VA all the way to Massachusetts in my car with me. I carried him around all over the place, scared to put him down for fear of him getting stepped on. He was so tiny. Many years later, some friends began to refer to Jesse as "Spalding" (Cast Away had recently come out...remember Wilson?) because they thought he looked like a basketball with legs. Jesse grew up to be a HUGE cat, tipping the scales at 22 pounds, which is more than each of my kids weighed on their first birthdays. Jesse will spend eternity in Kodiak, Alaska near the Buskin River where we buried him after he died.

Currently, my family has one dog, one cat (read more about him here) and two fish. I'm not a huge fan of Max the cat, but I must give him props for being the most tolerant animal on the planet. Megan flings him around, carries him by his paws, sits on him and just generally terrorizes him, and he just sits there and takes it.

Our dog, Piper, is much more tolerable now that she's not really a puppy anymore. Those first several months made me just a leeeetle bit crazy. But.....I digress. She's an extrodinarily smart dog and the kids love her. Recently, a couple home security system companies have stopped by soliciting their products. After I corral the dog, I tell them no thanks - I have Piper! Not only does she protect me from coffee makers, but now I can rest easy also knowing that she will warn me of an impending aerial attack:

video

Click on over to Sprite's Keeper and check out the other spins!

Friday, May 8, 2009

I'm making a mountain

...out of a mole hill, I know. But isn't that what moms are supposed to do in this case?

You see...we have a little star athlete in our house. I am quite convinced that he is going to take very good care of Eric and me in our old age (which is a VERY long way off, by the way) with his multiple professional sports salaries.

First - he's gonna be a fantastic quarterback. He's really got an arm on him. And it's not just that he can throw far. His throws are unbelievably accurate and always have a perfect spin on them. He throws a football way better than I do. Of course, I did not single-handedly change the topography of Kodiak Island from age 18 months and on by throwing as many rocks into the ocean as possible. That would be Jake. This child could be entertained for HOURS by going to one of the many beaches in Kodiak and throwing rocks. Over and over and over again. Kerplunk. Splash. Kerplunk. Keep an eye out for him in the 2025 NFL draft.

Next - he is quite good at soccer as well. This he gets from his dad. I never liked soccer because it required entirely too much running. Outside. When it's hot. He scores a goal in most of his games and is one of the fastest little buggers on the team. David Beckham.....look out. Here comes Jake!

And third - Jake started playing baseball this spring. He had never really played baseball before. Sure, he has one of those Fisher Price baseball tee/pitcher things, but it never seemed to hold his interest for long. But during his first baseball game last week this is what he did:

video

The next big league slugger, no? Now I realize that he is no Mark Maguire or A-Rod just yet (and hopefully he will steer away from performance enhancing drugs....'cuz a 6 year old on steroids is just all kinds of wrong), but as his mom, aren't I supposed to be extra proud of him and his excellent sports skills?

And there is that mountain that I am making. I think it's quite nice.

By the way....this post brought to you by small cycle

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts

randomtuesday

The weather guy on our (sortof) local NBC station loves his job. It is quite evident every time he appears on screen. When there are storms brewing...the man is downright giddy! And boy can this guy talk. I guess you could call him "long-winded". (Get it??!?!? A weatherman who is long-winded. Heeee heeee. OK...since I'm the only one laughing, I'll stop now). Well yesterday - it must have been like heaven for this man. There were some severe storms in the area and the channel broadcast this guy and his weather giddiness for 2 hours straight! There are only so many ways you can people that there are thunderstorms coming. And this guy used 'em all. Unless a storm has a name, I see no need for 'round-the-clock weather reports. An update or two or streaming text along the bottom of the screen would be just fine.

I think maybe I should have just stayed in bed today. First of all, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Literally and figuratively. And of course, Jake pushed my buttons. Then Megan - who is so overtired after a long, napless weekend - woke up around 6:30 AM. Normally, I have to wake the kid up at 8 and she STILL fights me on it. Normally between 7:10 (when Jake gets on the bus) and 8 when I wake Megan up, I am able to get a head start on some stuff around the house, say "good morning" to Matt and Meredith, check e-mail and facebook, and stalk read my favorite blogs. Oh well.

I also had to go get my annual blood work today. You know....cholesterol, blood sugar, triglycerides....etc. Which means I couldn't eat breakfast. That made me grumpier. After the blood work, I had an eye Dr. appointment. I forgot to bring my glasses with me so when they made me take out my contacts, I was then walking around totally blind. I told them not to dilate my eyes since I didn't have anyone to drive me home and the nurse wrote it on my chart. But the lady who does some of the testing didn't read it and there she went....putting those drops in my eyes. Then they tried to tell me I couldn't put my contacts back in my eyes because the drops might stain them. Great idea. So here I am, hardly able to walk around the Dr. office without bumping into furniture and they expect me to leave the office IN MY CAR without my contacts. Obviously, I ignored their advice and put them back in as soon as I left the office. I think I'm over my grumpiness (for now) and my eyes have finally returned to normal and I'm not forced to wear my sunglasses inside, looking like a drunk trying to hide the bloodshot eyes.

Jake loves to play Madden NFL on the xBox. But he gets really mad when he isn't winning. And he calls it "out of balance" instead of "out of bounds". Cracks me up every time.

I started painting our bedroom this weekend. My intention was to finish it yesterday. But wouldn't you know....I ran out of paint with about 15 square feet of wall left to paint. If I could have wrung out and squeezed the can, I would have. So this morning I was off to Lowes to buy more paint. Guess I'll be painting the bathroom the same color.

It's a good thing that Megan's preschool director puts a chalk board with important info at the front of the drop-off line. Otherwise I would have been sitting there waiting and wondering "where the hell is everyone" tomorrow morning. Apparently tomorrow is a teacher workday.

Have you tried any of the new Starbucks ice cream flavors? Caramel Machiatto ice cream may be the best thing ever. Too bad it isn't fat free.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Out of touch

Does anyone know how to do a "contact backup" for their wireless phone? I'd really like to know. That way, if my cell phone ever again leaps out of my pocket at a ridiculously crowded amusement park to never be found again, I won't have to spend hours trying to track down people's phone numbers and then cause crippling arthritis in my thumbs and blindness in my eyes while trying to key in everyone's phone number to my (sortof) new phone. UGH. And since we don't have a land line (a practice I used to think was thoroughly crazy) I was going thoroughly crazy and feeling very out of touch for a whopping 36 hours. Thank God for Hotmail and Facebook.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Pictures

We were looking pretty fancy, being that it was Easter, so we took a few photos. Funny how these two sweet looking children who appear to adore each other were hitting and yelling at each other just a few minutes later.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts

The UnMom does this thing called "Random Tuesday Thoughts". She has a button, but I'm too tired and lazy right now to figure out how to "grab" it. Anyway - check her out. She's funny. On to my random thoughts for today...

I used to meet friends for drinks or dinner in the evenings. Now I go to PTA meetings. How did that happen?

Have you seen those ads for some kind of drink called Syke No. 9? If you did, you probably didn't notice the giant beverage can in the commercial. You may not have even known it was a commercial for a beverage. Probably because you were too busy rolling your eyes at the ridiculous skanks women dancing around. Tell me -- would any self-respecting woman buy this beverage? Didn't think so. (BTW, I am not stupid enough to believe that it is being marketed to people such as myself, i.e. females, but still...)

There is a man that lives in my neighborhood who walks every morning and every afternoon. And he walks and walks and walks. There are some days when I swear that he has been walking the entire day. His route brings him past the front of my house around 7:55 AM, which is loudly announced by my dog barking furiously. His walking route and my driving route often cross around 8:30 AM as I am driving Megan to school. He always salutes me. It always makes me smile. Thanks for that, Walking Man.

This weekend, I spent many hours weeding my flower beds and planting some new plants. I discovered that I hate crabgrass or whatever that annoyingly stubborn, leggy, and unsightly stuff is that pops up all over the place. It's a bitch to remove. And it wraps itself around the plants that I put there on purpose. But....I now have two great weapons in my arsenal...a spray bottle filled with vinegar and a really cool root-removal tool. I came. I saw crabgrass. I kicked its ass. (Thanks to Linda for the vinegar hint. You sure do know a lot of uses for vinegar! And flaxseed!)

After conquering most of the crabgrass, I planted a few new plants, including two gorgeous hydrangea bushes. I love hydrangeas. I had them in my bridal bouquet and have loved them ever since. I used some bagged garden soil while planting them and the smell of it kept transporting me back to my Nana's (now Aunt Linda's) lake house. Something about the earthy smell of the dirt smelled just like the lake smelled. It gave me a hankering for a pita filled with tuna and some corn on the cob, two foods that I always associate with "The Lake" and my Nana.

Those are my random thoughts for today....maybe I'll figure out how to grab the official Random Tuesday Thoughts button in time for next Tuesday.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Still here...

I know....I know....I've been missing in action for a while here in blogland. No excuses....just haven't felt like I've had anything funny or creative to write about.

I don't have much to say, but Jake did crack me up today:

Jake: I just called Megan "Emily" by accident (Emily is a girl in his class).
Me: Why'd you do that?
Jake: 'cuz they look alike.
Me: Not really....they don't have the same hair color or eye color.
Jake: Well, then I guess it's because they're both really nice and really cute.

Such a sweet big brother.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I'm throwing a party!

Finally! ...The New England Journal of Medicine has scientifically proven that the key to weight loss is the simple concept of calories in vs. calories out! How much you eat vs. how many calories you burn off through physical activity. Wow...what a concept!?!?

All those "diets" that tell you exactly what foods to eat, what foods to eliminate, exactly when to eat and exactly when not to eat drive me totally crazy!

I hope the media takes this info and runs with it for two reasons: 1) so we won't have to hear any more about that crazy Nadya Suleman anymore, and 2) so we can finally stop listening to people talk about low carb this and low carb that! Unfortunately, the concept of calories in vs. calories out isn't particularly sexy or exciting or trendy and it will probably only be mentioned in passing.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29393995

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mermaid t-shirts and flip-flop earrings

This past weekend, I spent three days with 9 other girls at Holden Beach, NC. Some were already good friends. Some were acquaintances and a couple were essentially strangers. It was a fantastic weekend. Lots of girl talk, lots of relaxation, lots of food (oh...the food. UGH!), and lots of fun. Oh...and a few drinks. It was a completely unstructured, unplanned, un-hectic weekend. It was just what I needed.

One of the girls, Lezlee, designed some shirts for us and even bought us all these cute little flip flop earrings. Don't we all look adorable?

Aside from learning some funny and interesting details about my friends' lives, I also learned that I have a fantastic husband. In the 60+ hours that I was away from home, he didn't have to call me for anything. He did it all by himself....and always does. I've always known how capable a father Eric is. But it was totally solidified this weekend as I listened to the other women answer their husbands' frequent phone calls and questions about where is this....what do I do....etc. And to top it all off, upon my return, the house was neat and tidy, the kids were well rested and well-fed, and everyone was happy.

And no....he doesn't have a brother.

I love ya, babe!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Time to move?

Maybe we have been in NC too long...

While Megan and Jake were creating some valentine crafts, Jake started shouting for Megan to hand something over...

Megan: "You have to raise your hand. You can't just holler out!"

Holler? We may yell, we may shout...we may even scream...but I'm pretty sure I have never hollered! She sure didn't learn that from me or Eric.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday


It is such a shame that they can't always be this sweet, innocent and angelic...isn't it?

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Spin Cycle: The Soundtrack of My Life

So I am finally participating in Sprite's Keeper's Spin Cycle. You see - I'm not always so good with direction from others. (stop smirking, mom and dad!) I like to go my own way. I don't like the pressure of an assignment. High school, college, grad school...they're all over. But this week's topic is one I can do: MUSIC.

I truly cannot imagine a world without music. It would be entirely too quiet. There was always some kind of music in my house growing up...my dad liked to listen to Wolfman Jack on the radio; my mom liked to listen to Anne Murray and Neil Diamond records; my dad even sang in a barbershop chorus, complete with the most hideous yellow polyester suit with gold sequins and a red bow tie.

As I got older, I had my own little radio in my room and always had it on. I can sing the lyrics to songs from 30 years ago (and yet I can't remember what I ate for dinner last night) (OK, bad example...I had Spicy Thai Noodles - also known to me as Lily's noodles. Long story). I can usually tell you - with astonishing accuracy, if I do say so myself - what year a song came out by picturing which bedroom in which house I first heard it. (I moved around a lot as a kid...military family, don'tcha know). In fact, this uncanny knack causes several of my friends call me "Radio", in reference to the Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Ed Harris movie in which Cuba Gooding, Jr.'s character always has a radio with him. (For the record, I did not actually carry a radio around with me. I just always had the radio on in my room).

Hearing a song can transport me to a different time and place. A certain song can remind me of someone I hadn't thought of in awhile. An upbeat song can lift my mood. A heavy beat might make me want to dance. It's no wonder to me that my job REQUIRES music. What fun would a group exercise class be without a soundtrack? Studies have even proven that people workout longer when listening to music. In my classes, people frequently sing along. The music makes it fun.

My favorite song? I have no idea how to answer that. It changes every day. Maybe even more than once a day. Sometimes I'm in the mood for some cheesy 80s pop. Other times I may prefer classic rock. Or maybe a little bit of country (not too much - I don't like anything too twang-y). My iPod contains an eclectic mix. I like it that way...and so do my kids. One day, they will ask to hear Ozzy Osborne's "Crazy Train"; the next, perhaps "the Keep Bleeding song" (Leonna Lewis); sometimes they request a silly song called "There's a Carp in the Tub" by Robbie Schaefer (if you have young kids and can't stand hearing songs from Disney movies one more time, you should check him out. He is a lyrical genius and quite the comedian) (Not that there is anything wrong with music from Disney movies. In fact, I like quite a bit of it. But all that cheeriness can get on your nerves).

I think I'll go turn on the radio now.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Skiing

Our ski trip to West Virginia was a success! But it sure didn't seem like that would be the case on Monday afternoon. Upon arriving on the slopes and putting the skis on the kids, Megan proceeded to stand still sobbing "I wanna go home" for at least 10 minutes straight. And Jake fell down the first time he tried to get on the little conveyor belt thing and got really mad at me for "making" him go skiing. And me....well, I wanted to cry, too. I couldn't believe that we had spent close to 8 hours in the car to come up to this beautiful mountain so I could listen to my kids complain. Enter Eric. Daddy to the rescue, thank goodness. Clearly, Eric was not as exhausted or exasperated as I was and was able to persuade Megan to actually move from her sobbing spot. And Jake - after a successful ride up the conveyor belt and a successful "run" down the tiny ski school slope, he didn't want any help from anyone. "I can do it myself!"

Around 3:30, I had to ski down to another lift so I could ride it up to check into our condo. It was one of the longest, slowest ski runs I've ever experienced (well, except for the time when my sister fell down, tearing her ACL, and refused to allow me to call for help from ski patrol. We were on the LONGEST run on the mountain on our way back to the condo and I think it took us over an hour to get down the mountain) Anyway - off I went to the "real" slopes. It was steeper than I expected. And I was feeling way older than I expected. And I was thinking that perhaps this whole skiing thing wasn't a good idea after all. It was overcast and snowing fairly heavily. The slopes had been chopped up by the gazillions of other skiers that had gone before me. I had no goggles, my toes were frozen and I felt like I couldn't see a thing. I also felt like I couldn't ski worth a damn. I went slow. I was cautious. I was nervous that I would fall, tear something and be laying on the snow forever waiting for someone to rescue me. But, alas, I made it to the proper lift to take me to the check-in desk without breaking anything, without falling down, without working myself up into a total panic.
Tuesday was a new day. While I was carefully making my way across the mountain on Monday afternoon, Eric had devised a fabulous way to ski with the kids. He would stand next to Megan or Jake and hold one end of the ski pole while they held the other. They held on tight and off they went. So on Tuesday, Megan and I paired up and Jake and Eric paired up and we went to the beginner slope. By 3PM, Megan and I had made 18 trips down the hill and up the lift. It was truly a toss-up as to which she liked more...the skiing part or the riding the lift part. Megan had half the slope in stitches: as we would ski down the hill, she would scream at the top of her lungs "go faster, Mommy" followed by "Yaaaaaaaaahhooooooooooooo!" It was a hoot. Meanwhile Jake and Eric "accidentally" traversed down a blue slope. They made it down without any injuries, but Jake did fall down once...and hasn't let Eric forget that!

I once again got a chance to go ski some of the other slopes and I felt like a whole different person. The steep hills didn't phase me. I found my rhythm. I was having fun. I flew down the slopes. Thank God! I still had it. I wasn't turning into a nervous Nelly. But the sub-zero temperatures got to me and I went in to give Eric a chance to snowboard until the lifts closed at 4:30. (Seriously - the air temp was about 12 and the wind chill was making it feel like -6! That is freaking cold!) It was a great day.

Wednesday morning, Eric and I tagged-teamed again: he stayed with the kids while I skied and then vice versa. I was at the top of the slope when Ski Patrol took the ropes down (we were staying at the top of the mountain) right at 9AM. I swished. I swooshed. The slope was in perfect condition. It had snowed about an inch or two after the groomers came through so there was a nice powder on top of he neatly combed snow. It was unbelievable. If only it hadn't been so darn cold. Those four runs on Wednesday morning made every tear, every whiny moment, and every scowl worth it. And to top it all off...Megan declared that she wanted to go skiing on her birthday EVERY year!
photo by Jake

This was the view from our condo

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

On this date...

Four years ago today, I was hoping for the weather to clear so Eric could fly back to Kodiak.

Four years ago today, I was lucky enough to have my mom and dad by my side.

Four years ago today, I needed all of Laura's sarcasm I could get to take my mind off the pain.

Four years ago today, I was hopped up on morphine. It wasn't really helping.

Four years ago today, I was not so patiently waiting for the anesthesiologist to finish up with a 12 year old boy who needed his jaw surgically repaired.

Four years ago today, I was being wheeled down to the OR just as Eric arrived at the hospital.

And four years ago today, I had a beautiful daughter.

Happy Birthday, baby girl!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Classic!

Jake's first basketball game was last night. I think the final score (after four 5 minute quarters) was about 10 to 4. Check out Jake's (#11) skills:

video

I couldn't have planned that! Classic.....

Monday, January 12, 2009

Shouldn't the parents get sedatives, too?

Megan's dental appointment this morning went as well as to be expected. I was braced for a rough day when I woke her up and told her where we were going. She cried. But...the most stressful moment of the day occurred when the dental assistant told me "the Dr. will try her best to get all of the teeth done today. If not, we will have to schedule another appointment."

"Oh hell no! We will not be doing this again nor will we be paying the ridiculous amount of money for the sedation that insurance doesn't cover. She's gonna need to finish it all today", I told her.

Megan took her sedative and we watched a Dora video while waiting for it to take effect. She protested a bit when the assistants came to take her back to the exam room, but I was informed that the crying stopped upon the administration of the laughing gas. I should hope so. All 10 teeth that needed reshaping were finished and I was sitting with Megan just 1 hour after it all started. The poor thing looked a little puffy and a lot worn out, but she was in pretty good spirits and thoroughly enjoying the grape popsicle she was given. Soon after getting in the car and going through the drive-thru at the closest Starbucks (if the dentist isn't going to dole out sedatives to the parents, then Starbucks after the fact will have to suffice), Megan was fast asleep. She slept all the way home and even took a 2 hour nap, complete with slightly strangled cat.



She seems back to her normal self. Glad that's over.
The two hour nap enabled me to finish making and installing a new window treatment for the sliding glass door in our newly-repainted kitchen:

I'm not sure if the picture really gives a true representation...there actually is quite a bit of red in the fabric I used. And the brown(ish) background looks really nice with the brown walls in the next room. I really love the red walls. Wish I had painted it red the first time!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A much-needed distraction

Tomorrow morning, I have to wake Megan up 90 minutes earlier than normal, tell her that she cannot have any chocolate milk or eggs for breakfast, and then drive her 45 minutes to the dentist. As if that is not enough, once we arrive, she has to be sedated so the dentist can fix several of her teeth...she's got some weird-ass shaped teeth that are just asking for cavities. The dentist has to drill and fill her teeth to reshape them so that they don't rot out of her mouth. Great fun. So....I'm a little bit stressed about how the whole morning is going to go. She does not like the dentist already, and all she has ever had done is a cleaning. Again...great fun. Can't wait. Sarcasm. It's a coping mechanism.

Enter our crazy cat. For some reason he was out in the garage. Don't know how or when he went out there. I kept hearing some strange noises from the direction of the garage, but never did investigate. Eric did. As I was coming down the stairs after putting Megan to bed, I run into Eric at the bottom of the stairs holding Max the cat. Thinking that he is bringing the cat up to Megan (he likes to sleep on her bed and she only sortof strangles him while "hugging" him), I step out of the way. But he just stands there. I look a little closer and realize there is something stuck to his back left paw. It's a sticky mouse trap. And it caught my cat.

Luckily - although it won't sound like it at first - a small bird got stuck on one of them in our garage last week. I felt horrible for the little guy but didn't know what to do. I updated my Facebook status to reflect my dilemma and was informed by several of my friends that pouring some vegetable oil onto the pad would dissolve the adhesive and set the poor little bird free. How do these people know such things? Alas, I did not receive this information in time. Tweety did not make it. But I filed that little helpful hint away, even though I was sure that I wouldn't ever need to free an animal from a sticky mouse trap. After all, they are designed to catch the little squeakers. Why would I want to free them?

So there we are in the front hallway with a cat stuck to a mouse trap. We suspend the cat over the kitchen sink and I open up the bottle of Wesson and start pouring. Note: cats do not appear to like it when you pour slimy cooking oil on their paws and will likely shake their paw vigorously in an attempt to rid its fur of the offending substance. So we put the cat down in the sink to complete the removal process. After dumping approximately one gallon of oil on his foot, I am able to pull it free of the gooey glue which has now turned into some sort of gel-like goo that seems to be multiplying. Now that his foot is free, Max again commences the paw-shaking in response to the oily foot. A quick flick of the faucet and a speedy wipe down with a paper towel follow. Crisis averted.

Max appears to be doing fine, but he won't stop licking the paw in question. Oh - and Piper keeps following Max around sniffing at his paw.

For the time it took to free the cat from the trap, I wasn't stressed about inflicting terror on my baby as I take her to the dentist tomorrow. I was too busy wiping up oil spatters from all over my kitchen.

Wish us luck.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Better than coffee

Unfortunately, I have discovered a way to wake up that worked better than coffee: a very suspicious dog.

With today being the first day back at school and Eric being out of town, I decided to set up the coffee maker to automatically start at 6:30 this morning, knowing that I would need a jolt of caffeine to jump start my day (16 days of sleeping in really wreaks havoc on your ability - and motivation - to get up early).

6:30 AM...Piper wakes with a start and runs out into the hall and begins barking in her deepest, loudest bark possible. She usually saves this for the UPS man. This of course, gives me a heart attack. And since she usually only barks that way when strangers come up to the house, I am a little bit panicked that someone is in my house, although, logically, I'm pretty sure this isn't the case. In my haste to get out of bed, I managed to knock my glasses behind the head of the bed and can't find them since I am blind without them. I ran to the bathroom and put my contacts in as fast as I could and jog out to the hallway to see what was the matter. Piper is still standing at the top of the staircase growling and barking, and I'm getting a little freaked out. That is until I hear it.....the sound of the coffee maker! Apparently, Piper thought that someone broke into our house to make coffee! I went downstairs and poured myself a cup of coffee and realized that I was plenty awake and might not need the caffeine this morning after all (who am I kidding? Of course I want..er....I mean...need it). I drank it anyway, despite my already racing heartbeat.

Paranoid dog? A dog who hates coffee? Or just a good watchdog? Doesn't matter....I can rest easy while Eric is gone, knowing that no one will get into my house to make coffee without my knowledge!


Look at that face! Could you be scared of that face?